9 Dec 2019

AWWW MONDAY - WEEKEND DECEMBER 7



My grandson has got a jump suit from St. Nick ! I was scared .....



Linking to AWWW MONDAYS


WEEKEND

If I wasn't retired and had the whole year weekend I probably would have appreciate a weekend where nothing, but nothing happened, except the rain but that is nothing special either.

There was no one murdered in the street, no house burnt down, or a neighbor killed his wife, no, there weren't not even people in the street walking their dogs because of the rain and the wind. I sulked when I looked outside.

Unfortunately cat Arthur must have troubles with his bladder because he has to use his litterbox more then often and I had to buy litter. I shouldn't complain because at least he doesn't pee in the house but in his litterbox. He is an old male, so it could happen.  I bought 5 kgs of litter and the vendor was so kind and carried the bag and put in in the car. That was another sign for ageing, now they help me because I must look old and frail, before they helped me in the hope to get a rendez vous. Times change.

As I was already outside I thought that I could look for a TV furniture, which I wanted to buy since a long time, but never found one which I really liked and then I had to find somebody who would carry the old thing outside on the street. I went into the shop just opposite the pet shop and found exactly what I was looking for ! The right color, right size and right price !



I called the men who help me for garden and other things and they will come next Friday carry the old furniture on the street, pick up the new one, and put it together. The only thing I have to do is to pay. I have tried to sell it nobody wanted to buy it then I put it for free and still nobody wanted it. I can understand that a huge screen won't fit but one could use it for another purpose.



On Sunday Mr. G. put our Christmas decoration outside and carried the Christmas tree from the basement into the living room. He put it together and now it stands on the dining table. I have to decorate it, but honestly I am not at all in Christmassy mood.

For years I loved Christmas, decorated the whole house, and we always celebrated on Christmas Eve as it is the use in Germany.

But this won't happen anymore and to my surprise I don't care at all. With my DIL's patchwork family and we 250 km away it is not so easy for my son to please everybody.

There is his father in law with wife, the mother in law with partner, the brother in law with wife and kids and we two, fortunately not divorced otherwise he would have two more couples ! It's complicated.

Tomorrow or another day I will decorate the tree,  and then they will come  on the weekend before Christmas. That will be the first time in my life that I don't celebrate Christmas on the 24th eve, and I am really happy that I don't get a nervous breakdown for that, a couple of years ago I would have taken this very badly.

I have tried to transmit the German Christmas traditions to my son, but it hasn't worked. And times change too.


St. Nicolas arrives per boat

Toby my grandson grows up in Amsterdam, where Christmas is not very much celebrated, the big thing is St. Nicolas day, where the Saint arrives by boat on the canals of Amsterdam and brings gifts to the kids. When we spent Christmas for the first time 10 or 11 years ago in Amsterdam, there was not even a Christmas tree in the city. Today it has changed .... for the tourists. The Netherlands are the only country in Europe where Christmas is not so much celebrated.


And now a bit for Christmas

6 Dec 2019

THE STORY OF A KEY

Besides the fact that I misplace keys often and loose a lot of time because I have to search where they could be, another story suddenly came into my mind concerning a key

I was probably 5 or 6 years old and lived with my parents in a little town near Frankfurt together with my father's mother, my grandma, the grandpa, his sister with husband and my two cousins, and an uncle who had just came home from a war prisoner camp in Siberia where he had been a prisoner from 15 years old til 25 exactly 10 years. They all lived with my grandparents because they had all  lost their homes due to the heavy bombing of Frankfurt. I didn't know  that my parents had lived in Frankfurt in an apartment which was completely bombed out and had disappeared when my father came home from work. My mother was with me, a baby, on the countryside staying with her parents.

My aunt and uncle had the same destiny, their home was also completely destroyed and they also had lost everything. Fortunately the house was very spacious but apparently all the adults living together was not so ideal. We children didn't realise, my cousins were one year younger then me and the other a year older we avoided as much as we could the adults, because there were often fights.

My aunt was a very kind person (to me) but apparently a devil to the adults, she got hysterical attacks, screamed, slammed doors, ran away, came back etc. I personally didn't care, my mother tried to protect me by hiding these facts as much as possible, but that wasn't easy living all so close together. Anyway I didn't understand why my aunt behaved that strange and wasn't afraid either, I think it seemed normal to me.

One day she really got completely crazy, screamed and ran around and then into the kitchen slammed the door behind her and locked the door with the key opened the window and threw out the key. After a while we heard her hammering at the door because she wanted to get out, and called my uncle who tried to calm her down. We children watched from far wondering what would happen now and how she would get out.

My grandma saw us standing there and send us in the garden to look for the key. We did this with great pleasure and were looking for the key everywhere. It reminded us a bit like looking for Easter eggs. We were very eager to find the key so that my aunt could get out because she was still hammering at the door. My father shouted that she should jump out of the window, which was not possible because it was far too high, but he was so furious.

We checked every centimetre of the front yard and finally my little cousin found the key under a fir close to the trunk. She picked it up and showed it proudly to everybody. My uncle grabbed it out of her little hands, stormed into the house and opened the kitchen door. My aunt fell sobbing in his arms and the rest I don't remember.

Only years later I understood how terrible it must have been for them to all live together after the trauma of the war. They had lost everything, just like my parents not even a plate or a fork was left. My aunt suffered from  terrible panic attacks,  because she had been standing in the street where a few meters farer a bomb went down. For days she couldn't hear anything.

When I remember this time fortunately not too much, I get an oppresssed feeling. As a child I felt that there was something wrong without knowing what it was. It was a life full of fear for the adults, the daily fight for food, the American occupation, the fear that they would break into the house when completely drunken and looking for girls.

This key under the fir, in the little hand of my cousin I will certainly never forget.



My two cousins and I (right)


Linking to Linda G. Hills SOCS-key

FRIDAY's FAV FIVE

Monday was the perfect day to stay inside, it was cold and it rained ! From our Scrabble group we were only three, three others had a cold. With three it's not so interesting to play then with 5 or 6, so we had quickly finished and started a long lasting coffee break. As it was my turn to receive the girls, I had bought a Christmas pudding, a Christmas log and cookies and the fudge they love so much.

Nobody had ever eaten a Christmas pudding and never had tried the log. The pudding didn't have a big success (which was very much appreciated by Mr. G. who ate the rests which was nearly the whole pudding). The log and the cookies disappeared slowly slowly over the afternoon.

Kadhija who is of Moroccan origin told us family stories and we had a lot to laugh. From an uncle who worked like a horse to spoil his women who of course didn't do anything and had servants for everything. The first one couldn't get children so she suggested him to take a second wife, which was legal but only if the first wife agreed, and in this case had insisted to choose the second wife herself, which she did. The poor man got an ugly wife but she had three children. The third one was a nice girl chosen by both and they were all very good friends went out bought what they wanted could drive around, while the husband worked and earned the money. We ended up to pity the poor husband.  Of course this is use in upper class and not with farmers, where the wives have to work and the husband handles the paperwork. It was very interesting to  hear how other cultures live and are happy.

Tuesday we had an appointment for the yearly check up of our Toyota  Yaris. Meanwhile we went to the hairdresser, which is located in the Carrefour building and is for men and women. We both had shorter hairs and in the cold weather freezing heads, we had - 1°C. Mr. G. went playing Whist and I returned home and prepared my backpack and clothes for our excursion to the Christmas Market in Düsseldorf.

Next morning I got up at 6 am which was far too early but Mr. G. who couldn't sleep anymore got up too and was in my way. Finally I made it to the bus stop where the Bus stopped for our trip to Düsseldorf. There were three other stops to take people in and then off we went to Düsseldorf. I had been often there because Mr. G. had worked for two years for his company in Düsseldorf and I often visited him over the weekend. But that was a long time ago and besides my beloved Rhine and some famous buildings I didn't recognize anything. The Christmas market was huge all over the old city.


Myriam with pompom bonnet and  Khadija  and to the right Marie Joël

There were many Christmas chalets selling all kind of Christmas ornaments and Christmas stuff, but not what I was looking for the Germany Christmas cakes and cookies. It was too early apparently, for already celebrating Christmas. There was no music either but the lights the trees and all Christmas ornaments were there. We had the famous "Glühwein" hot red wine with spices, and as they wanted to eat German specialities I told them what to eat and they choose the potato pancakes and roasted mushrooms, which we ate at tables on the street. We were dressed like Eskimos so it was not cold, the sun was shining as if payed for !

Then we were thirsty and ended up in an old bar very nicely decorated and the funniest thing was we had to sit on very old  church benches The owner a very round lady was so funny and entertained us in a broken French



Refreshed we continued our visit and after having done some shopping, special bread, special cakes, and roasted almonds, we ended up in a vintage lady cafe, where we had a strawberry cake and coffee. Then it was time to go back to our bus and in 3 hours we were back in Waterloo.

Was a real nice day !

In my painting class I saw the result of the two paintings I had done last week and again it was a big surprise how they had changed.



I finished three small once, forgot to take a picture to see the before and after and this time we were  nearly all there only two missing because of a cold.

After class we had lunch in our newly discovered Lebanese restaurant and had a wonderful lunch and as I had written about them in Facebook he thanked me by offering to all of us a special Lebanese tea and Lebanese cake Nicole who was very tired from the works she had had done in her flat, had a Glass of wine and became very funny and we laughed our heads off. The young Lebanese men were enchanted that this group of six vintage ladies were behaving worse then teenagers.



more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.

3 Dec 2019

PAINTING - MY WORLD

Part of "Our World" in my world is my painting. Each Thursday morning our Waterloo community has organized  painting lessons in the festivity room of our retirement home.

Therefore I show you how we work and have fun. We are all seniors of course from 60 on til 89 ! Very motivated in all kind of painting techniques. Oil, Acrylic, pastel, watercolors etc.









and here we are at work. I just finished my "pouring" painting.

My finished results :













The strange thing is I always use the same colors : Red, blue, yellow and white and each time the pouring looks different !

Other more classical masterpieces from my classmates


We all love our painting class and enjoy it very much ! Creativity is a nice hobby when you are retired.



more participants here

2 Dec 2019

AWWW MONDAY - WEEKEND NOVEMBER 31






Linking to AWWW MONDAYS



WEEKEND

Mr. G had his second cataract eye surgery done on Friday and I had to drive him to the doctor on Saturday for a check up. Now he sees where he was used not to see and the other way around or he sees nothing especially when he has to read something. He probably needs other reading glasses. But the TV he can watch and his computer too so he is happy.

While he was at the doctor, I did a little walk and entered one shop, but the city center was so packed that I quickly returned and preferred to wait for him in the Doctor's waiting room.  We never had a real "black Friday" here but this year it is like a big black Tsunami ! And not only on Friday now they have invented the black weekend and even on Sundays the shops are open ! Wherever you go you are squeezed in a crowd !

Brussels Christmas market has been opened yesterday and immediately had a full success ! I will wait a bit and go during the week on weekends it's too crowded.



When I opened the shutters on Sunday the hope for a blue sky and sunshine flooding into my room disappeared, it was grey and dull and the street was wet. First instinctive reaction was hiding under cover !


Rosie sleeping at the end of my bed shared my opinion, but she didn't get up !

Unfortunately I had to to get up to feed the singing cat Arthur,  drink my coffee and let Mr. G. sleep. He has to get up each and every morning at 7 am for the male nurse who gives him a shower as it is too dangerous for him to climb into the bath and the shower is in the basement in our guest room but then he has to go down the steps and with the freshly operated hip it's a bit difficult.  When the nurse is gone he usually goes to bed again ! I thought I will stay home the whole day it was to humid to go out with my asthma which has still not disappeared.

But then after a few phone calls of my friends who were also fed up to stay home and who had a cold except one, we were 4 to go to the cinema and watched a very funny French comedy "La retraite" which means "The retirement" . It was hilarious ! Exactly what we had experienced with our husbands, when freshly retired and suddenly being together the whole day ! Still laughing and discussing the movie we had a drink together before we went home. Finally the Sunday had been saved.